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In Berkeley the other day, I felt compelled to announce to our hostess that her neighbor’s saucer magnolias were blooming. In January. She seemed to take this remarkable news in stride. I guess when you live in a clime of perpetual springtime, it ain’t no thang when a spectacularly showy tree blooms in winter. Back in Sacramento, we have real winter… ok, not real winter, but the kind that occasionally makes you put on a coat. Or pants. My saucer magnolia’s tiny buds are still in their winter wear.

According to my date-stamped photo records of what blooms when here, our white stellata magnolias bloom first, in February. Colorful, showy saucer magnolias will follow in March. Allow variations for Mother Nature.

If you want to see what we’re missing, the Chronicle has a couple recent magnolia articles (with pics)–

Magnificent magnolias Natives of the Deep South and their local offspring bring S.F. Botanical Garden to life this month
by Alice Joyce, author of “Gardenwalks in California”

When the tree’s sweet blossoms come on, it’s a sunshine daydream in the winter
by Miriam Owen, Special to the Chronicle

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